Child Development
An area of study devoted to understanding constancy and change from conception through adolescence.
Domains of Develpment
-Emotional and Social
Physical Development
Changes in body size, proportions, appearance, functioning of body systems, perceptual and motor capacities, and physical health.
Cognitive Development
Changes in intellectual abilities, including attention, memory, academic and everyday knowledge, problem solving, imagination, creativity, and language.
Periods of Development
-The Prenatal Period
-Infancy and Toddlerhood
-Early Childhood: from 2 to 6 years
-Middle Choldhood: from 6 to 11 years
-Adolescence: from 11 to 18 years
The Prenatal Period
From conception to birth. In this nine month period, the most rapid time of change, a one-celled organism is transformed into a human baby with remarkable capacities for adjusting to life in the surrounding world.
Infancy and Toddlerhood
Birth to 2 years. This period brings dramatic changes in the body and brain that support the emergence of a wide array of motor, perceptual , and intellectual capacities; the beginnings of language; and first intimate ties to others.
Early Childhood: from 2 to 6 years
The body becomes longer and leaner, motor skills are refined, and children become more self-controlled and self-sufficient. Make-believe play, thought and language expand, sense of morality becomes evident, and children establish ties with peers.
Middle Childhood: from 6 to 11 years
Children learn about the wider world and master new responsibilities that resemble those of adults. Improved athletic abilities, organized games, more logical thought process, mastery of reading writing, math and other academic knowledge and skills, advances in self morality, and friendship.
Adolescence: from 11 to 18 years
This period initiates the transition into adulthood. Puberty, thoughts become abstract and idealistic, schooling directed towards higher education and the world of work, begin to develop autonomy from the family and to define personal values and beliefs.
Continuous Development
A process of gradually adding more of the same types of skills that were there to begin with.
Discontinuous Development
A process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times.
Nature-nurture Controversy
Are genetics or enviornment factors more important in influencing development?
The inborn hereditary information we receive from our parents at the moment of conception.
Ex. A child high or low in anxiety will remain so in later years
The physical and social world that influence our biological makeup and psychological experiences before and after birth.
In the sixteenth century puritans believed that child rearing was one of their most important obligations although they regarded the childs soul as tainted by original sin.
John Locke
Philosopher of behaviorism. He viewed children as a "blank slate". Children begin with nothing at all; their character shaped entirely by experience. Rewards for good behavior and opposed physical punishment.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Children are NOT blank slates but are noble savages, naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong.
Viewed development as discontinuous, stage wise process mapped out by nature.
Charles Darwin
Forefather of scientific child study and famous for theory of evolution.
Emphasized on natural selection and survival of the fittest. Species survive because they have characteristics that fit with, or are adapted to their surroundings.
G. Stanley Hall
American psychologists, known as the founder of the child-study movement. Student was Arnold Gesell and together they launched the normative approach.
Normative Approach
(Hall) Measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age-related averages are computed to represent typical development.
Psychoanalytic Perspective
Children move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations. How these conflicts are resolved determines the person's ability to learn, to get along with others, and to cope with anxiety.
Sought to cure emotionally troubled adults. Constructed the psychosexual theory.
(Freud) The largest portion of the mind.
(Freud) The conscienous, rational part of personality, emerges in early infancy to redirect the id's impulses so that they are discharged in acceptable ways.
(Freud) Or conscious, develops through interactions with parents, who insist that children conform to the values of society.
Psychosexual Theory
emphasizes that how parents manage their child's sexual and aggressive drives in the first few years is crucial for healthy personality development.
Erik Erickson
Expanded on Freud's 5 psychosexual stages by adding 3 adult stages. Developed the psychosocial theory.
Psychosocial Theory
(Erikson) emphasized that in addition to mediating between id impulses and superego demands, the ego makes positive contribution to development, acquiring attitudes and skills that make the individual an active, contributing member of society.
Directly observable events-stimuli and responses-are the appropriate focus of study.
Social Learning Theory
(Bandura) most influential, emphasizes modeling (imitation) as a powerful source of development.
ex. mom claps followed by child clapping.
ex. child hits a playmate in the same way child is punished at home.
(Behaviorism) Discovered classical conditioning of dogs and applied it to children behaviors. Adults can mold children's behavior by carefully controlling stimulus-response association.
(Behaviorist) developed the operant conditioning theory. Behaviors can increase by using reinforcers or decrease through punishment.
Jean Piaget
Cognitive theorist that did not believe that children's learning depends on reinforcers, such as rewards and instead developed the cognitive-development theory and 4 the stages of cognitive development.
Cognitive-Development Theory
(Piaget) Children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world.
(Piaget) stage 1 (Birth to 2 years) infants "think" by acting on the world with their eyes, ears, hands, and mouth.
(Piaget) stage 2 (2-7years) development of language and make-believe play takes place.
Concrete Operational
(Piaget) stage 3 (7-11years) Children's reasoning becomes logical and better organized. Thinking is not yet abstract.
Formal Operational
(Piaget) stage 4 (11 years on) thoughts become abstract, systematic reasoning system of the adolescent and adult.
Sociocultural Theory
(Vygotsky) perspective that focuses on how culture (the values, beliefs, customs, and skills of a social group) is transmitted to the next generation.
-social interaction is required for children to acquire the ways of thinking and behaving that make up a community culture.
The Microsystem
(Bronfenbrenner) The innermost level of the enviornment which consists of activities and interaction patterns in the child's immediate surroundings.
- all relationships are bidirectional
The Microsystem
The Mesosystem
The second level of Bronfenbrenner's model that encompasses connections between Microsystems, such as home, school, neighborhood, and child-care center.
The Mesosystem
The Exosystem
(Bronfenbrenner) Consists of social settings that do not contain children but that nevertheless affect children's experiences in immediate settings.
Ex. Religious institutions, parents workplace
The Exosystem
The Macrosystem
The outermost level of Bronfenbrenner's model that consists of cultural values, laws, customs, and resources.
The Macrosystem
(not pictured) The temporal dimension of Bronfenbrenner's model. Life changes can be imposed on a child.
Ex. Birth of a sibling
Naturalistic Observation
Go out into the field, or natural enviornment, and observe the behavior of interest.
Ex. A study of how preschoolers respond to their peers.
Structured Observations
The investigator sets up a laboratory situation that evokes the behavior of interest so that every participant has an equal opportunity to display the response.
Clinical Interview
A flexible, conversational style is used to probe for the participant's point of view.
Structured Interviews
(including tests and questionnaires), in which each participant is asked the same questions in the same way.
Case Study Method
Brings together a wide range of information on one child, including interviews, observations, and sometimes test scores.
Ex. Gifted children
Correlational Design
Researchers gather information on individuals, generally in natural life circumstances, and make no effort to alter their experiences. -Cannot infer cause and effect.
ex. Does sending your child to daycare really promote child's friendliness with peers?
Correlation Coefficient
A number that describes how two measures, or variables, are associated with one another.
Strength of relationship ranges from +1.00 to -1.00
- zero indicates no relationship.
Independent Variable
The one the investigator expects to cause changes in another variable.
Ex. Someone's age
Dependent Variable
The one the investigator expects to be influenced by the independent variable.
Ex. A test score could be Dependent because it could change depending on how much you studied or how much sleep you got.
Longitudinal Design
Participants are studied repeatedly, and changes are noted as they get older.
Cross-Sectional Design
Groups of people differing in age are studied at the same point in time and only once.
Ethics in Reasearch
Research on humans can many times exploit people and exspecially child which can result in physical and psychological harm. The federal government created special guidelines for children.